Monday, May 2, 2011

Why I Wear Dresses #1

~our two little ladies about 11 years ago

I seldom discuss apparel. It can be such a touchy subject. But people ask questions once in a while, and so I plan to do some posts on the topic. I won't cover every thought or answer every question in this first post. You can come back later for more if it is interesting or helpful to you.

Here are some questions people ask:
Why do you wear dresses all the time? Why does it matter what you wear? Doesn't God look on the heart? Does your religion make you wear dresses all the time? Do you think everyone should dress like you do? Is it a sin if I (as a woman) wear pants?

From the time I was born, my parents chose to dress me in dresses, skirts and blouses, jumpers and t-shirts, anything that resembled the obvious female representation which is commonly seen on ladies public bathroom doors.

I attended public school all 17 years of classroom education, and I couldn't begin to tell you how many times I was asked, "Why do you always wear dresses?"

Somewhere during those early years, I learned that Deuteronomy 22:5 said women shouldn't wear what pertained unto men, and I was taught that this showed God desired a clear distinction between male and female. That verse served me well for a few years while I was too young to understand anything other than law, black and white, clear-cut right and wrong.

Around 6th grade--those tumultuous junior high years--I started getting responses like, "Well, men wore robes back then. Women and men both wore robes. Now, how do you explain that?" And, "You are judging!" I still vividly recall coming onto the school campus after lunch break one day, and as I climbed out of our big blue and white van, I heard some girl laughing and chanting, "Here comes the judge!"

I probably don't need to tell you school wasn't my favorite place during those years.

However, when I was about 12, the experience I had gained and the character that was beginning to be forged into my young heart began to take root. I began to see that this Christianity thing was something you had to be pretty serious about or you might as well not bother with it at all. I began to understand that when Jesus said, "Take up your cross and follow Me," His words really meant something.

Thankfully, I chose to become serious about Him, and even my responses to the kids who asked me why I wore dresses changed. (Amazingly, they didn't ask very often after this point. I became respected and admired--you see, my attitude had changed.)

Many years have passed now. I continue to learn.

I take Christianity more and more seriously with each passing year.

Recently, I read a couple of verses in Numbers and was reminded of the reason God had the Israelites wear fringes or tassels on the corners of their garments.

The verses in Numbers say:
And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring:
That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.
(Num 15:39-40 KJV)

It hit me how much I have benefited from bearing the reproach of always being different, and of being forced throughout my entire lifetime to find my value outside the approval of others. I realized how choosing to dress ladylike and modestly (yet another Biblical principle) causes me to constantly remember.

"That ye may remember..." God told the Israelites! What a blessing my parents gave me! They instilled a mechanism to help me remember, to take seriously my Creator's desires for me!

I was blessed all those years and continue to see deeper depths of that blessing.

Thank YOU, Abba! (and Daddy and Mother!)